LegalTech09: 5 Things Every Practice Should Know About Web 2.0

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Information about LegalTech09: 5 Things Every Practice Should Know About Web 2.0

Published on February 6, 2009

Author: leebryant



V. Mary Abraham very kindly agreed to run a joint session at LegalTech NY, February 2009, and these are the slides we used for what turned out to be a very well-attended and interactive session. Many thanks to all who took part.

Five Things Every Practice Should Know About Web 2.0 Technology REALITY 2.0 : A Web 2.0 Survival Guide for Legal Practices  (cc) V. Mary Abraham & Lee Bryant, February 2009

Agenda 1. Why Web 2.0 makes sense in a downturn 2. What are the Tools and how do they work? 3. How to make the business case 4. Where to start in a Law Practice 5. What to expect (adoption and challenges)

Who do we have here today? KM? IT? Practising Lawyer? Are you using these tools?


A recession is the perfect time to be adopting Enterprise social computing

Anxiety We need to show value quickly Budgets Reality 2.0: can we even afford business as usual in KM and IT?

Adding a social layer to enterprise tools can rejuvenate old, unloved systems

Blogs Vodcasts RSS Podcasts Wiki Tagging Personalised Start Page Lightweight Social Interface IT Firm Clients Markets This should build on existing processes

Personal tools: organise your ‘stuff’ by tags; arrange in a portal; manage networks and feeds Group collaboration: intimate groups/teams organise knowledge in wikis and group systems; reviews, voting Blogs and networks: some items or topics are shared within networks and discussed in blogs Bookmarks and tags: people store, share, tag, vote or comment on useful links and news Public feeds & flows: internal and external RSS feeds based on subject, person, group or search

Writing Reading Collaborating Sui Sui Sui Sharing All-in-one Messaging Sui Sui Sui The E2.0 software market is maturing

1. Cheap tools 2. Easy to roll-out 3. Can replace expensive systems Why do we say that E2.0 is affordable?

“...we covered projects that have worked really well but it is important to note that we also had a number of projects that have not succeeded in the way we had hoped. Fortunately, our incremental approach to rolling them out and the use of inexpensive technology has meant that the failures or 'so so' results have been quite inexpensive and have allowed us to learn a lot.” Gerard Neiditsch, Executive Director Business Integration & Tech, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Sydney Why do we say that E2.0 is affordable?

(Mallesons have done some great work at low cost combining wikis, blogs, a people finder mashup, RSS, tagging, social networking and other social tools. We showed some slides of these at the conference, but unfortunately they are not cleared for wider distribution)


Social tools are not all about personal blogs, throwing sheep or sharing what you had for lunch

Blog and wiki-based know how sharing

Wiki-based intranet replacement

Social reading and writing

Social Search & Expertise location

Social networking for collaboration

Universal messaging (Internal Twitter)


Social computing should address concrete, day-to-day use cases in order to prove its value to the firm

Vital to address ‘in the flow’ use cases

Growing social networks node by node Employee onboarding Blogs help establish common purpose (cc) Mergers, departmental integration and strengthening firm culture

Status and presence sharing Expertise location based on output Real-time activity feeds and updates Better Know who & ambient awareness

Social networks as information filters Better ‘findability’ through tagging Less email, more feeds and flows Self-service, personal KM

Reputation management Two-way interaction via extranets Personalised, timely intel. sharing Client recruitment and retention

RSS & blogs replace newsletters Better recommendations from activity More granular distribution using tags Cheaper, better Current Awareness

Better sharing & team working More pre-document collaboration Less duplication of workflows Informal knowledge sharing


Social computing supports very quick and easy new application development or ‘mashups’

How could we deal with a specific use case such as... Business Development leading to new matter intake and conflict checking ?

Workshop Assumptions • Targeting business in a new sector • Need to find out what we know already • Need to check for potential conflicts • Want to improve and speed up intake • Existing process is largely manual


A sensible approach to adoption is critical

Identify slow, convoluted processes Look for obvious inefficiencies Work with groups keen to collaborate Where to begin looking for adoption

Focus on quick wins, but be strategic Add a social layer to existing tools Build quickly and iterate rapidly How to get started with a project

Email / Blackberry to RSS If the info is good, people will play ball Start with existing ways of working Target transition strategies for adoption

Attitude to risk: which are real? Cultural issues: IT, KM and lawyers Cautious traditional IT approach Be realistic about the challenges

If you only remember 5 things...

1. Web 2.0 is not just a fad. Now is the time! 2. Tools are (often) inexpensive/easy to deploy 3. Focus on your practice’s pain points 4. Lawyers are natural social networkers 5. This is a step towards low cost self service

more info Five Things Every Practice Should Know About Web 2.0 Technology image credits Cote Brian Boulos Victoria Peckham Dplanet:: Jessica Wittebort V. Mary Abraham Lee Bryant & Lee Bryant Jurvetson Jenn Jenn Touchgraph Poorfish Yuan2003 Oceanflynn Aturkus attribution 2.0 generic

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